In June 2023, four researchers from Educons University completed their training at the prestigious University of Galway. The training focused on soil sampling techniques, preparing soil samples for microplastic analysis and using advanced microscopy and Raman spectrometry for analysis. This unique opportunity not only improved their technical skills but also provided them with invaluable networking opportunities with representatives from the Office of Research, the Office of Human Resources, and the Office for Technical Support of Researchers.
Soil Sampling Techniques:
The training program commenced with an in-depth exploration of soil sampling techniques. The researchers were exposed to various methodologies, including random sampling, grid sampling, and stratified sampling. They learned how to identify suitable sampling locations, collect representative soil samples, and ensure proper preservation and transportation to the laboratory. This hands-on experience equipped them with the necessary skills to conduct accurate and reliable soil analyses.
Preparation of Soil Samples for Microplastic Analysis:
As the issue of microplastic pollution gains global attention, the researchers were trained in the preparation of soil samples specifically for microplastic analysis. They learned how to extract microplastics from soil samples using techniques such as density separation and sieving. Additionally, they gained insights into the importance of quality control measures to minimize contamination and ensure precise results. This training enabled them to contribute to the growing body of knowledge on microplastic pollution and its impact on the environment.
Advanced Analysis Techniques:
The researchers were introduced to cutting-edge microscopy and Raman spectrometry techniques for the analysis of microplastics. They received hands-on training on operating advanced microscopes capable of identifying and characterizing microplastic particles. Furthermore, they learned how to utilize Raman spectrometry to determine the chemical composition of microplastics, aiding in the identification of different types of plastic polymers. This advanced training empowered the researchers to conduct comprehensive and accurate microplastic analyses, contributing to the understanding of their distribution and potential ecological consequences.
In addition to the technical training, the researchers had the privilege of meeting with representatives from the Research Office, Human Resource Office, and Office for Technical Support of Researchers. These interactions provided them with valuable insights into the administrative aspects of research institutions, fostering a deeper understanding of the organizational structure and processes involved in academia. The researchers also had the opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences with professionals in their respective fields, expanding their professional networks and paving the way for potential collaborations in the future.